Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has spoken on the likely cause of the gunmen attack on officials of the US Consulate in Nigeria on Tuesday in the state.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how gunmen killed two officials of the Consulate and two police officers after ambushing their convoy along Atani-Osamala Road in Ogbaru Local Local Government of the state.
Apart from killing the victims, the gunmen abducted three others, including two other police officers and their driver, who arrived in the area to carry out a rescue operation during the attack.
In a statement on Wednesday evening by his spokesperson, Christian Aburime, Mr Soludo said the fact that the officials made separate security arrangements and bypassed the existing security architecture in the state might have made them susceptible to the attack.
“It is evident from reports by the various security agencies in the state that the visiting team made their own security arrangements and totally bypassed the existing security architecture in the state and the state government was not aware of the ‘humanitarian mission’ of the visiting team,” he said.
“In a place like parts of Ogbaru (LGA) where security forces have been fighting the criminals and oil bunkerers, the sight of few policemen can indeed attract vengeance from the criminal gangs. Correcting such lapses and ensuring better coordination will help prevent such avoidable incidents in the future,” Mr Soludo explained.
The governor, however, condemned the attack and the killing and vowed to cooperate with security agencies in the state to “smoke out the criminals and bring them to justice.”
He said, within the last one year, his administration had worked with security agencies to fight crimes and restore law and order in the state.
He argued that despite the latest attack, the state is one of the “safest” in Nigeria.
“This (latest) incident in a remote riverine community in Ogbaru Local Government Area is a reminder that patches of these criminal gangs can still unleash senseless and murderous acts,” he said.
Mr Soludo urged residents of the state to assist the security agencies with information on the identity or whereabouts of the gunmen.
The governor promised to “handsomely” reward anybody who provides such information to the security agencies.
He commiserated with families of victims of the attack and assured the US Embassy in Nigeria of his administration’s commitment to the safety and security of its officials in the state.
“We assure our residents and visitors of our continued commitment to law and order. If anything, this incident has emboldened our drive,” he said.
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